When Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal asked SCOTUS nominee Neil Gorsuch whether he supported the important 1965 Supreme Court Griswold v. Connecticut ruling that said a married couple’s right to privacy includes the right to use birth control, Gorsuch refused to answer. Gorsuch, in fact, has refused to answer most questions about his beliefs, but this one is especially disturbing.
Why? Because Griswold v. Connecticut was about much more than birth control.
Sparked by Estelle Griswold of Connecticut, this landmark case established a clearer definition of the “right to privacy” our Constitution guarantees and, over the past 40+ years, has served as the foundation for a broad array of personal rights, including the right to marry someone of a different race or the same sex, and the right to make reproductive choices related to your own body. Indeed, many of our most personal privacy rights were guaranteed by the Griswold case. Yet with Gorsuch’s nomination, they are at risk again.
The Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to vote on Gorsuch tomorrow — Monday, April 3 — and a vote could go to the full Senate by Friday.
National NOW has asked us, and all NOW chapters, to help #StopGorsuch. And yesterday, at the Women’s March Connecticut forum in Bridgeport, Senator Blumenthal asked for the same. “We are in the fight of our lives,” he said.
Call Connecticut Senators Blumenthal and Chris Murphy, and tell them you support their decisions to vote no to #StopGorsuch and filibuster. Numbers matter! All calls are logged and the information shared.
Also, feel free to call senators in other states. Those calls matter, too! Follow this link to see how, as of last week, senators planned to vote: http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/27/politics/neil-gorsuch-whip-list/
Follow this link for a list of the local and Washington phone numbers of all senators: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2017/2/2/1629046/-Call-your-senator-Phone-numbers-for-every-office-of-every-U-S-senator
Here are some suggestions of what to say:
Real people will be negatively impacted by Gorsuch. People who suffered real injuries and their loved ones spoke out last week about how they failed to get justice from Judge Gorsuch. Gorsuch puts corporations and the powerful above the people. That’s not the kind of fair and independent jurist we should have on the nation’s highest court.
Gorsuch must answer questions, but he refuses. Gorsuch has the burden of proving he is worthy of a lifetime appointment on our nation’s highest court. His record is still incomplete, and he has been less than forthcoming in his one-on-one meetings with senators. Gorsuch must answer questions about his record and his judicial philosophy so that the Senate – and the American people – can understand what kind of justice he is likely to be.
Gorsuch is not the independent voice we need. The growing clamor for investigations into the Trump campaign highlight the need for an independent judiciary that will serve as a check on an out-of-control executive branch. President Trump has demonstrated no respect for an independent judiciary. He and his aides have claimed unchecked authority and he’s has attacked federal judges who have ruled against him (Trump University, Muslim ban). We need independent judges who will be a check on President Trump when he violates the law or the Constitution. Gorsuch’s troubling history of deference to executive power shows that he will not be that independent voice.
Respect the rules that require 60 Senate votes for confirmation. In the event that Republicans push for a change in Senate rules to lower the threshold for confirmation, remind that they need to “change the nominee and not the rules.” Mitch McConnell and his allies want to push a narrative that this confirmation is inevitable, but that’s simply false.
Quote national NOW President Terry O’Neill, who said: “A thorough vetting of Gorsuch’s record shows he is no friend of women, workers, consumers or LGBTQIA persons. His role in key decisions shows that Gorsuch does not support women’s access to reproductive health care and was willing to allow religious and corporate entities to deny employees insurance coverage for contraceptives. We are certain that Gorsuch would be a Supreme Court justice who would vote to overturn Roe v. Wade – and, as we all know, this is what Donald Trump would like to see happen. It’s absolutely critical that we do everything we can to stop Gorsuch. Let’s not forget that this is a stolen seat — which became vacant more than a year ago, but Republicans refused to consider President Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland.”
Please take action immediately! We defeated Trumpcare together. Now, we must defeat Trump’s SCOTUS nominee.
Cindy Wolfe Boynton, CT NOW president